Despite having played less than a season in the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie guard Darius Garland has indicated that he’s the leader of the team.
20-year-old Darius Garland gets asked why playing hard has been difficult for the Cavaliers at times: “I wonder the same thing sometimes. But I take a lot of responsibility for that because I’m the leader of this team.”
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) February 22, 2020
Garland made the comments when the Cavaliers were in Washington on Friday to play the Wizards, a game which they won, 113-108.
The victory by the Cavs marked only the 15th time during the 2019-20 season the team has entered the win column.
Critics of Garland are likely to ridicule the rookie’s comment as cockiness from someone with only 55 NBA games on his resume.
Yet, that attitude by the 20-year-old is one that the Cavaliers were hoping he’d have when they made him the fifth overall pick of last year’s NBA draft.
Garland’s declaration may also be an attempt to simply note his role as the team’s point guard, the player who’s seen as a team’s coach on the floor.
For this season, Garland has continued to develop his game, but still has plenty of room to grow. He’s averaging 12.3 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per contest for the 2019-20 campaign.
Garland’s next opportunity to show his team leadership will come on Monday night, when the Cavaliers host the Miami Heat at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.